Irish American Pat Quinn and Boston’s Pete Frates, co-creators of this summer’s fundraising sensation the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, have been nominated for Time magazine’s prestigious Person of the Year award for 2014.
“The duo’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge became a viral phenomenon that raised more than $100 million to help fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease,” Time writes.
Quinn and Frates are paired against Ebola doctors and nurses in Time’s face-off poll. A host of other individuals were selected as worthy of consideration for 2014, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Nobel Peace Prize winning teen Malala Yousafzai, the Boko Haram Girls, Beyonce, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Hillary Clinton.
Quinn, 31, whose father is a native of Newry, Co. Down, was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, and has worked diligently since his diagnosis to raise awareness about the killer disease for which there is no cure. His friend Frates was diagnosed in 2012.
“It was weird, it was very tough,” Quinn told the Irish Voice in August about the moment when his diagnosis was confirmed.
“At that point I had done a lot of research on my own. A lot of my symptoms were pointing in that direction. I was just avoiding the day that I would know for sure.”
A number of Irish bars and businesses in Quinn’s hometown of Yonkers have pitched in to help the Quinn for the Win fundraising effort, which has raised thousands of dollars for research. Quinn and his wife Jenn, who were married in July, have been honored and recognized by Derek Jeter and the New York Yankees among others for their courageous efforts in the fight against ALS. The also helped singer and designer Jessica Simpson complete her Ice Bucket Challenge in October.
“The problem with ALS is that there’s no treatment option. There’s only one prescription they offer that they say extends your life by three to nine months. So that’s why we do so much fundraising,” Quinn told the Irish Voice.
“It’s not a fair treatment option for someone with such a devastating disease. So we’re trying to raise as much money and awareness for research as possible.”
To cast a vote for Quinn and Frates, visit TIME.com. Voting closes on December 6.